"Cymbeline"

An epic battle between dirty cops and a drug dealing biker gang set in a corruption-riddled 21st century America, based on the play by Shakespeare

Okay, let me tell you a secret. I’m a nerd for Shakespeare. I was one of those weird, uncool kids back in high school who took the Shakespeare course for fun. Yep, that was me. I’m especially a sucker for that whole let’s-modernize-Shakespeare-in-film-but-keep-the-original-dialogue thing (still LOVE Romeo+Juliet). Ethan Hawke must be too because this is not the time he has taken on modern-day Shakespeare (see Hamlet, circa 2000) or even classic literary films (see Great Expectations).

Cymbeline, is a lesser known Shakespeare play, one that I haven’t read, but has all the elements one attributes to Shakespeare’s works - a fued a kin to Hamlet, a Romeo and Juliet-type impossible love affair, Othello-esque permeating jealousy, a Macbeth-like manipulative woman at the center of it all. It should be worth the watch and because… Penn Badgley.

Cymbeline also stars Dakota Johnson. Penn Badgley, Milla Jovovich, Anton Yelchin, John Leguizamo, and Ed Harris in the tile role. The film will be released in theaters on January 23.

What You Need To Know

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Contributor For:

The Large Association of Movie Blogs (LAMB) [Film Festival Contributor]
Cinematic Katzenjammer [Film Contributor]
Blerdnation [Blog Contributor]


Recognition: 

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Nominated for Best Movie Genre Blog - Independent Cinema as voted on by The Large Association of Movie Blogs (2013)

—> Read more about this blog here


Causes:

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AFFRM (African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement) empowers black indie filmmakers with collaborative, simultaneous theatrical distribution.

Currently In: 

Atlanta, GA (follow me on instagram)

Actor-ology: Nicole Beharie

I love looking back the careers of actors who have suddenly stepped into the big spotlight of Hollywood because of one reason or another and have a certain blerd (black+nerd)-esque quality about them. I usually do a small survey on twitter for Blerdnation to see is on everyone’s mind for the purpose of this profile; no need to do that this time (though I love to hear your feedback for next time!). I’m taking a moment to talk about my girl crush of the moment, the smart and adorable Nicole Beharie (cue women trying to discover her secret to getting their own tall, goodlooking, European arm candy): 

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Born and raised in the south, Beharie hails from West Palm Beach, FL and finished high school at the well known South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities. She then attended the famed peforming arts conservatory Juilliard where she was granted a fellowship to continue her dramatic training in England.

From all the interviews, panel, and photoshoots I’ve seen her in, Nicole Beharie is the ultimate bestie. That’s what makes her so great; she is bubbling with happiness, appropriate sass, and infectious laughter that makes her relateable and makes you feel good in the process. And as they should, big and small screen has taken notice. Here is a retrospective of what I consider the high points in her career for anyone would  like to get up on their Behar-ology.  

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September in Film: Must Watch List

Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy share their own perspectives of the ups and downs of their relationship through the years, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are estranged twins who mend their relationship following simultaneous suicide attempts, and Jane Fonda is the matriarch of a less than normal family brought together for a funeral.

[September 12]

"The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby" (wide)

Director: Ned Benson (debut feature film)
Cast: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Viola Davis 
Grade: A- [commentary]

Synopsis: A story of differing perspectives of Connor Ludlow and Eleanor Rigby, a young married couple living in New York. Him looks at their relationship from Connor’s angle, while Her follows Eleanor’s. During the course of their daily lives, the couple encounters a life changing event that threatens the stability of their marriage. Them is a shorter form compilation of Him and Her.

A beautiful film that is so much about connecting and empathizing with the two lead characters. I saw it in the order of Him then Her which I contend is probably the best way to experience it. I wondered how they would package this (3 hour) movie when it was released to the masses and now I know, primarily as Them, an edited 2 hour version that I’m sure will sacrifice a lot of the integrity of this ambitious project. Do me a favor; seek out Him and Her.

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"Beyond the Lights"

A talented young musician on the brink of super stardom struggles with the pressure of her new-found success.

The more I watch this, the more I really into it. It has a certain magic to it, a certain delicate loveliness. Much of that I attribute to Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who I have come to love as an actress after her very beautiful, very dignified performance in Belle. Beyond the Lights is from Gina Prince-Bythewood, the writer/director of Love & Basketball, a film that pretty much defined the 90s black romance movie genre. Those were some great times for black films. Maybe this film can start a re-emergence.

Beyond the Lights is currently playing at the Toronto International Film Festival and will hit US theaters on November 14.

Giveaway: Fandango Gift Card in Honor of “Life of Crime” - CLOSED

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The good people over at Partnershub are giving away a  $15 Fandango gift card in honor of the theatrical release of the film Life of Crime starring Jennifer Aniston, Mos Def, Tim Robbins, Isla Fisher, Will Forte and John Hawkes and as a reader/follower of my blog, it could be yours. The movie is based on the work of Elmore Leonard, author of a number of crime books which eventually became the movies Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Jackie Brown…. and now Life of Crime. 

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Playlist: 10 Songs that Remind Me of Indie Films
I’ve always said that music and film go hand in hand and for me, these songs take me back to the movies from which I first heard them. By the way, can you name the indie film that the above image is from? The one too is all about the music. Enjoy:
"Can’t Help Falling in Love"/Ingrid Michaelson from Like Crazy
"There’s a Light that Never Goes Out"/The Smiths from (500) Days of Summer
"The Blowers Daughter"/Damien Rice from Closer
"New York, New York"/Carey Mulligan from Shame
"Falling Slowly"/Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova from Once
"The Scientist"/Coldplay from Wicker Park
"Bad Girls"/M.I.A. from The Bling Ring
"I’m Kissing You"/Des’ree and "Talk Show Host"/Radiohead from Romeo+Juliet
"Bittersweet Symphony"/The Verve from Cruel Intentions High-res

Playlist: 10 Songs that Remind Me of Indie Films

I’ve always said that music and film go hand in hand and for me, these songs take me back to the movies from which I first heard them. By the way, can you name the indie film that the above image is from? The one too is all about the music. Enjoy:

"Can’t Help Falling in Love"/Ingrid Michaelson from Like Crazy

"There’s a Light that Never Goes Out"/The Smiths from (500) Days of Summer

"The Blowers Daughter"/Damien Rice from Closer

"New York, New York"/Carey Mulligan from Shame

"Falling Slowly"/Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova from Once

"The Scientist"/Coldplay from Wicker Park

"Bad Girls"/M.I.A. from The Bling Ring

"I’m Kissing You"/Des’ree and "Talk Show Host"/Radiohead from Romeo+Juliet

"Bittersweet Symphony"/The Verve from Cruel Intentions

New York Film Festival (NYFF) 2014: Film Picks

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I am not going to make it up to Toronto this year for TIFF (still crying all the tears on that one) but I’m surely going to be back in NYC for NYFF. Especially since it is opening with the new film from one of my favorite directors adapting one of the most bat-shit crazy book I’ve read in awhile (Gone Girl) and it’s ending with an odd-ball character comeback story from one of the most wildly interesting directors working today (Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). The main slate of 30 films for this year’s festival has been announced and from it, here are my wish list of films to check out outside of the opening and closing night selections.

"Inherent Vice"

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Jena Malone, John Brolin

In Los Angeles in 1970, drug-fueled detective Larry “Doc” Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend. Why I’m Interested: I have pretty much jumped on the bandwagon of media outlets calling it the most anticipated film this year. I don’t know if I would go that far in a year that is seeing a new film from both Christopher Nolan and David Fincher, but the constant chatter has me interested. Plus wildcard Joaquin Phoenix always does some interesting things in front of the camera…

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